5G’s progress in 2022 – and the road to 6G…
28 November 2022

5G’s progress in 2022 – and the road to 6G…

28 November 2022

As the year draws to a close, analysts, vendors and MNOs will be scrutinising how the rollout of 5G is progressing. 

Omdia predicted 1.3 billion 5G connections by the end of 2022 - having exceeded half-billion 5G connections by the end of 2021  - with 2 billion 5G connections by end 2023 and reaching 4.8 billion by the end of 2026.

Meanwhile, “the number of 5G commercial networks has reached 216, according to data from TeleGeography and 5G Americas. That number is expected to reach 330 by the end of 2022 and 352 by the end of 2024, representing strong 5G network investment growth in many regions throughout the world.”

The 5G global connectivity experts at Telecom26 recently wrote about India’s rollout of 5G with 5G being the latest tool for India’s network operators in their campaign to dominate the fast growing mobile market.

And, earlier this year, following extensive testing in many 5G networks around the world, we added 5G connectivity – including in India - to our Global Roaming Service which currently provides seamless coverage across 1100 cellular networks from over 650 mobile operators in more than 200 countries.

For customers who already have 5G capable devices, our eSIMs and SIMs can automatically access the higher data speeds of 5G, where it’s available.

The number of countries in which we can offer 5G is growing all the time and 5G is available to all our customers with the same pricing as our other services including in India.

Feel free to ask us where we can offer you 5G coverage.

5G and your business

Our team of global connectivity and IoT Connectivity experts has recently written a new white paper titled “What does 5G bring to your business?” which you can download here

In it we discuss all aspects of 5G including how and why it won’t just be MNOs that offer 5G. Regulators in many countries are permitting potential users to secure licenses for locations, in which they can deploy their own dedicated networks, which are detached from the public networks offered by MNOs – in other words, isolated and private. Some may also be delivered as slices, while others may be provided as managed services.

We also discuss how there’s much more to come, as the new parallel services of 5G emerge.

The markets for these will take a few more years to take shape. At the same time, many businesses are planning for these investments, adding expertise and technology skills, so they can tailor new 5G services to suit

But 5G isn’t for everyone – many classic IoT applications will continue to work on 4G for some time to come and there may be no net benefit to be gained by switching a remote telemetry meter to 5G for the time being.

According to Omdia, there are 698 4G LTE networks live around the world vs 216 commercial 5G networks.  So many businesses don’t have a 5G option yet.

And, there’s work to be done. 5G stand alone (SA) works very well – but has yet to be proven in the field at the scale required.

Similarly, roaming for full 5G SA remains an open question. It’s a bit like VoLTE roaming – we know how to do it, but it’s taken several years to become a reality.

What is 6G?

Meanwhile whilst the Telecom26 team is concentrating on providing the most suitable, and cost-effective connectivity to our customers, we’re already eyeing the future, as we watch developments towards the definition and standardisation of future 6G networks, led by the ITU, among others.

The early adopters are getting ready.  For example, Ericsson “has made a commitment to invest tens of millions of pounds over the next 10 years, in a UK-based programme that will focus on 6G research and breakthrough innovations.”

According to TechTarget, 6G (sixth-generation wireless) is the successor to 5G cellular technology. 6G networks will be able to use higher frequencies than 5G networks and provide substantially higher capacity and much lower latency. One of the goals of the 6G internet is to support one microsecond latency communications. This is 1,000 times faster -- or 1/1000th the latency -- than one millisecond throughput.”

“The 6G technology market is expected to facilitate large improvements in the areas of imaging, presence technology and location awareness. Working in conjunction with artificial intelligence (AI), the 6G computational infrastructure will be able to identify the best place for computing to occur; this includes decisions about data storage, processing and sharing.”

However, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE “that 6G is not yet a functioning technology. While some vendors are investing in the next-generation wireless standard, industry specifications for 6G-enabled network products remain years away.” 

Telecom26, Global Connectivity and 5G

You can read some more of our thoughts about 5G in these earlier blogs:

If you’d like to discuss how our 5G and Global Roaming Service can keep your people and devices connected wherever they are in the world, then please get in touch.

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